Friday, January 29, 2016

Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan - 3 stars

Book 1 in The Phoenix series
Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan
3 stars

I had such a hard time choosing how many stars to give this book. In the end, I chose 3. There were things I liked and hated about this book, making it difficult to decide. But honestly, there were just too many cliche's for me to really enjoy it.

I really liked the premise of this book. Secret society, magic, creepy vision dreams, etc. It had all of that but there was also the love interest, Graham. Julia, our protagonist is instantly attracted to him. She has yet to admit to loving him but it's become quite obvious. It's bordering on insta-love which I really can't stand.

Julia starts having these weird dreams that are creepy and disturbing. It's not until later that we realize she's looking into Graham's past. These dreams also include his sister, Clara. They show Graham and his entrance into the secret society, the Phoenix. Suddenly this "guide" appears because "her whole life is about to change." The girl happens to be Julia's ancestor. Surprise!

What really bothers me is that Graham happens to move to Julia's town and she happens to be this descendant of this super powerful family. It's too much of a coincidence for me. There were many things about this plot that bothered me. Don't get me started on the "school bitch" and the best friend that suddenly drops Julia with no reason at all.

It was super slow through two-thirds of the book. It finally picks up in the end with some action. But the whole thing is just so predictable. There's a small cliffhanger but I don't think it's enough to draw me into moving on to the next book. I do have to say that I really like the cover. I wouldn't really recommend it to a friend but some people might like it but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Saven Deception by Siobhan Davis - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in the Savan series
Saven Deception by Siobhan Davis
4.5 stars

I wasn't sure what I was going in to when I requested this book but I'm certainly glad I did. I've recently been having a hard time with the dystopian genre. This book is a mix of dystopia and sci-fi all in one. It's brilliant. This is one of those "don't judge a book by it's cover" deals. I really don't like it but I do like the book.

Sadie is part of the lower class living in the Outer Circle, also known as stars. Everyone has a small tattoo on their wrists classifying them. The lowest class have bronze stars, the middle class have silver coins, and the upper class have gold bullions. Being a star means Sadie is forced to work at the age of 14, she's not allowed to marry or fall in love, she's not allowed to have children, and much more. They're basically considered slaves to the rest of the civilization. I liked how Davis separated the classes using the tattoos and the restrictions placed on the lower class. Her world building is great.

The government decides to try a new way to lessen the strain of overpopulation. They are sending volunteers to an underground city, Thalassic City, for six months to see if it is possible to live there. Sadie volunteered to get out of her dull life and away from the family that hates her. Luckily, Sadie is chosen and she's whisked away to a new world. One thing that made me role my eyes was the name for their little test drive: "The Experimento." I wish there was a better name or just drop the "o".

We knew there were going to be aliens based on the description. Since we know this, it's obvious who the aliens are when Sadie enters her new life. I like how Davis showed the slight differences between the humans and the aliens aka the Saven. It was subtle but the reader can tell...a bit of dramatic irony added a little twist to the story.

Sadie was a great main character. She's strong, brave, and has a good sense of who she is. She knows what she wants in her life. She's inquisitive and cares about her new friends. She acknowledges her failings and her behavior towards Logan (the love interest). The action really picks up in the last third of the book and we see Sadie shine.

This was a great book. I enjoyed it and I am definitely looking forward to the next one. I definitely recommend this book. I might be checking out her True Calling series.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Vengeance Be Mine by Louisa Lo - 4.5 stars

Book 1 in the Cosmic Balance series
Vengeance by Mine by Louisa Lo
4.5 stars

This book was great. I stayed up way past my bedtime. It was worth it though. 

Our main character is Megan. She's half vengeance demon, half trickster. There's never been one of these before so she's considered an abomination. She was bullied as a child and didn't have friends. Her dad is an arch vengeance demon so he's pretty powerful. His side of the family basically shunned her. Vengeance demon's are very proud and logical. Her mother is a trickster, a race of people who like to have fun and don't care about getting jobs or following rules. She has three trickster half-brothers and one vengeance demon half-sister. I loved all her siblings. Despite being half, they never treated Megan as an outcast. 

You feel really bad for Megan at some times. She entered a college to become a vengeance demon and she doesn't fit in. But she's good at holding her head up high and not letting her bullies get her down. But she's still a being with emotions so she has her doubts. To live on her own, she moves into an apartment on the human plane. She has a roommate who loves to cook. I found it amusing when Megan didn't understand some of her roommate's words because she wasn't human. 

What I liked most was the twists and turns that you don't really expect. The world is completely different and the world building is well developed. There aren't any info-dumps and Lo shows us the world and how things work in the right way. Show, not tell. That's a sign of a good author.  I didn't get annoyed with Megan's personality. I respected her determination. She is well developed. 

I would classify this as a New Adult book but sometimes it could be on the Young Adult side. It didn't bother me though. It's well written and captures your attention. I really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this to book and I'm considering buying it. I wouldn't mind rereading it. I'm looking forward to the next one. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Devil's Daughter by Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez - 3.5 stars

Book 1 in Lucinda's Pawnshop
Devil's Daughter by Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez with Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
3.5 stars

This book was difficult to rate. I liked it but it took me a little longer to get through than most books. I was able to put it down and move on to other books in my to-read pile. I'm pretty good at focusing on one book but I kept getting bored while reading. It's also a difficult book to review. I've rewritten this thing 10 times already.

The plot of the book is interesting. We have the daughter of Eve and Lucifer. We have demons and fallen angels. Shape shifting and magic and people who are at the brink of choosing right and wrong. Lucinda runs a pawn shop full of dark objects that hold dark souls of the past. When a mortal purchases an object they are drawn to, it wreaks havoc in their lives. Lucifer has Lucinda sell these objects so he can further his plot to end the world.

Lucinda is interesting. She has the inner turmoil of being the daughter of Eve and Lucifer. She has a human side that she can't show to anyone because it is her weakness. Of course, this comes crashing down when she meets a mortal man who wandered into the pawnshop accidently. She actually starts to feel things she's never felt before. She has to be careful with this part of her life as well. Basically she had to tread a fine line and keep everything hidden from those around her.

While Lucinda is the main character,we have several points of view. Some of them were interesting. Others were boring. There were a little too many jumps between characters. Most of these characters aren't really fleshed out. It's definitely a plot driven book.

I wanted there to be more world building. There are aspects that aren't explained. What is the Between? Why was Lucinda taken from Eve at such a young age? There are many unanswered questions. Some of them are legitimate and are there to be explored in the upcoming novel(s). But some of them should have been more fleshed out.

I might read the sequel just to see what's coming next. I can only hope that there will be character and plot growth along with it.